Sunday, December 04, 2011

Governor Herbert's tardy response and what that proves about Gerrymandering

Last night on the news Governor Herbert made an announcement to the press in some cozy location in front of a pretty Christmas tree, warning us that more severe weather lies ahead with predictions of high winds--this time with snow--on Sunday into Monday.  And I have one question:

Where have you been for two days now, Governor?

I drove through the towns of Davis Country yesterday and destruction is everywhere.  Pick any random street and you will see property damage.  The sound of chain saws is in the air.  Neighborhoods have rallied to help neighbors cut up huge trees, repair houses, clean up.  I saw a housing construction site in Farmington that will have to be bulldozed.  I didn't take pictures as hundreds have already been posted on news channel web sites.  Some communities are still without power after three days.  Property damage is expected to exceed $20 million.

As I watched the governor last night, it occurred to me that we had heard not one word from any state official nor any state-level representative--let alone a congressman.  Not so much as a gratuitous photo-op in front of a downed tree.  No promises of help.  No offering of resources.

Maybe I missed something, but the highest officials I have seen making public announcements are the mayors of the cities affected.

And we in northern Utah are not surprised, as I'm sure our counterparts in southern Utah would not be either.  The powers that be in this state are so ensconced in Salt Lake, it's almost as if their world ends at the county boundaries.  If it didn't happen in Sandy, it didn't happen.

Well thanks for the weather report, gov.

And it got me to thinking further about this whole problem of representation and the gerrymandering fiasco recently perpetrated on us by a legislature intent on becoming a one-party state (as if it's not already that).  Our representation is not local, it's stretched over many counties with a meaningless mix of rural and urban areas.  There is no way our representatives can focus on the unique problems and issues affecting their constituents in individual communities when the district covers such diverse and expansive areas.  And so, the result is the smaller communities or the minorities in general get overlooked--are not heard.

As Utah heads further and further into the realm of single-party rule, there will be fallout.  Not just failure to act when people need help.  That's something that is easy to see and photograph.  But there will be greater corruption of public officials who will have too much power and no fear of being ousted from office.  There will be less concern about the real needs of the people of Utah and more focus on padding the bank accounts of elected officials and their families and cronies.

Because it always comes down to money.

And I don't blame the officials.  We know it's not their fault that power corrupts; that's a law of nature.  I blame the silly voters of Utah who just lazily check that "R" box because they think it's all about unborn babies and fail to see the real big picture of politics in Utah.

Cross-posted at OneUtah 

UPDATE: The gov may have read my blog. Today he activated the National Guard to help with cleanup and rolled up his own sleeves for TV reporters. But I still wonder why this didn't happen on Friday. Still tardy. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=18352901&title=davis-county-hopes-to-beat-storm-in-clean-up-effort

Where are those old posts?

Just FYI, I took down hundreds of my old posts some time ago in a moment of sheer frustration with the blogging world.  I may at some point make some of those available again.  I have to give it some thought.